It was just a little over a week ago that Donald Trump tweeted about how his nuclear button was bigger than Kim Jong Un’s, a move that rekindled the questions about his mental fitness for office. Almost immediately, the excerpts from Michael Wolff’s book began to appear and the issue reached fever pitch. Adding to the whole scenario was a report from Jonathan Swan about Trump’s schedule, which includes a lot of “executive time” (for tweeting and watching cable news).
It came as no surprise that, for an initial response, Trump took to Twitter.
That wasn’t especially reassuring, was it? He only reinforced the concerns.
What we’ve seen over the last couple of days are events that have specifically been crafted to address the questions about Trump’s mental fitness and his work ethic. On Tuesday, that meant letting reporters stay to record the bipartisan talks on immigration. While it’s true that the president didn’t come off as particularly unhinged, he demonstrated a real ignorance of the topic and seemed to simply agree with whatever the last person to speak had to say.
Things went a bit more off the rails during Trump’s preliminary remarks at a Cabinet meeting yesterday. He started off by welcoming reporters back to the “studio.” From there he repeated the lie about how no previous administration has accomplished as much as his in the first year and claimed that reporters had sent him letters saying that Tuesday’s meeting with congressional leaders was one of the greatest meetings they’ve ever witnessed.
Finally, during a press conference with the Norwegian prime minister, the president was asked whether or not he would agree to be interviewed by Robert Mueller. He deflected to an old lie.
Trump was 100 PERCENT willing to talk to Mueller under oath until it became clear Mueller wanted to talk to him and now he’s not so sure and also have you heard about Crooked Hillary? https://t.co/OimH5yh9b5 pic.twitter.com/oqkmmauNKn
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 10, 2018
If all of this was to convince the American public that the president is on top of the issues, is hard-working and possesses the mental fitness required by his job, I’d give him a D for the effort. The only reason it wouldn’t be a complete failure is that we’ve seen and heard worse from him. He managed to keep himself fairly composed through each of these events, even as what he said was either complete nonsense or a lie. To disprove the hypothesis that he is lazy, ignorant, and mentally unfit, Trump would have needed a C or better. It wasn’t even close.